Disney World Under Fire After Performance by 'Indianettes'

Texas high school band and dance team performed at Florida theme park
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2022 1:04 AM CDT
Disney World Under Fire After Performance by 'Indianettes'
The newly painted Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is seen with the the crest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the theme park on Aug. 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Disney World is being widely criticized after a Texas high school band and drill team performed in one of the Florida theme park's parades over spring break and was accused of appropriating Native American culture. In video of the Port Neches-Groves High School performance, which went viral, the school's fight song can be heard—including the lyric, "Scalp 'em, Indians, scalp 'em," 12 New reports. The school's football team and band are the Indians, and the drill team is the Indianettes. They normally wear headdresses, but Disney asked them to remove those prior to the performance—and parents complained about that request, BuzzFeed News reports. After controversy erupted over the video, Disney has apologized and said the performance was "not consistent" with the audition video, but many aren't buying it.

"Disney knew that this team is calling itself the Indianettes," says a Minnesota tribal attorney. "They refer to their football stadium as 'The Reservation.' They have 'The Pow Wow’ news. The yearbook is called 'The War Whoop.' These guys have doubled down through the years on behavior that has been largely condemned as racist because it is." Tribes including the Cherokee Nation have spoken out against the performance; the Cherokee Nation says it has been asking the school for years to stop using "this offensive imagery, chanting, symbolism and other practices in their school traditions" but has been ignored, KFDM reports. Disney says neither the drill team nor the fight song were featured in the school's audition video, and adds that it has changed its policies so such a thing does not happen again. A peaceful protest is planned for an upcoming school district meeting. (More Disney World stories.)

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